Iowa baseball team improves to 2-0 with 11-1 drubbing of Ball State
Iowa has outscored its first two opponents 23-3 at the Swig & Swine Classic in South Carolina
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Redshirt freshman Keaton Anthony finished 4-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs and the University of Iowa pitching staff limited Ball State to two hits in a 11-1 victory on Saturday at the Swig & Swine Classic.
The win moves Iowa’s record to 2-0 this season. In the two victories, the Hawkeyes’ hurlers have limited the two opponents to just three hits while fanning 34.
Graduate student and Butler transfer Connor Schultz allowed one run on four hits, while striking out nine in his first start as a Hawkeye. Freshman Brody Brecht earned the win, tossing four hitless, shutout innings, while fanning seven and redshirt sophomore Will Christophersen had four strikeouts in the ninth.
Iowa struck out 20 batters in the game.
“Connor went out and battled and was super aggressive,” said Iowa head coach Rick Heller. “He fell behind a little bit than he normally would, but he fought back to punch out nine in four innings.
“Brody got his feet wet in a tight game. He had some troubles with his command but fought through it. He settled down and pitched outstanding his final three innings. It was great to see him fight through a jam and get out of it.”
Offensively, Iowa finished with 13 hits with eight different Hawkeyes tallying at least one hit. Anthony led the charge with a career-high four hits, including a three-run home run in the fifth, a solo shot in the seventh and an RBI double in the ninth.
Iowa jumped out to a 3-0 lead with a three-run second. After loading the bases, redshirt junior Brendan Sher drew a bases loaded walk to force in the first run before redshirt sophomore Kyle Huckstorf followed with a two-run single to right field.
After Ball State scored its lone run in the fourth, Iowa doubled its run output via Anthony’s blast in the fifth before scoring five more in its final two at-bats.
Redshirt sophomore Brayden Frazier joined Anthony in posting a multi-hit game, finishing 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs and two RBIs. The Hawkeyes had six extra-base hits in the game.
“We had better at-bats, pretty much all day long and didn’t give too many at-bats away,” said Heller. “We battled, anytime we went to 3-2 count I think we won the battle, all but one time.
We had an error-less game and it was a really solid day of baseball. Once we got the starter out of the game, they went to their relief, and we took advantage of a lot of free bases. For the most part, it was a great day for us.”
– The Hawkeyes have four home runs in two games and have scored 23 runs. It is the first time since 2006 that the team has scored 10 or more runs in consecutive games in the first two games of the season.
– Anthony is the first Hawkeye since Peyton Williams to hit two home runs in a single game. Williams hit two bombs at Purdue in 2021.
– Iowa is looking for its first 3-0 start since the 2018 season.
The Hawkeyes close out the Swig & Swine Classic, facing Bucknell at 9 a.m. (CT) on Sunday. The game will be played on Detyens Field.